By Abdoulie John
Campaigners are very concerned about the deteriorating health condition of detained Gambian journalist. Alagie Abdoulie Ceesay, Manager of Taranga FM Manager, has had his trial stalled in court. Ceesay has been denied the right to bail. He remains remanded.
“The case has been adjourned until February 8, 2016. The presiding judge is sick,” defence counsel Combeh Gaye-Coker told this reporter while indicating that her client’s medical state is ‘stable’.
This latest adjournment comes at a time when the defendant’s lawyers have filed a bail application in order for their client to return home as soon as possible. Alagie Abdoulie Ceesay spent more than two hundred days in detention and his health conditions have been a matter of serious concern. The judge was supposed to hand down a ruling in yesterday’s hearing.
“It must be made abundantly clear to Gambian authorities that they will be held completely responsible for the health and wellbeing of Alagie Abdoulie Ceesay whose continued detention and persecution remains the characteristic trademark that places The Gambia as one of the worst predators of the press in Africa,” warned in a telephone interview Committee To Protect Journalists (CPJ) West Africa Representative Peter Nkanga.
The case has left many observers flabbergasted as State prosecutors are still unable to make any headway due to the fact that star prosecution witnesses absconded to neighbouring Senegal for fear of their life.
President Yahya Jammeh, who seized power in a 1994 coup d’état, has been ruling The Gambia with an iron fist. His regime is often accused of gross human rights violations, including continued clamp down on political opponents and the media.
Alagie Ceesay’s case is not only tragedy and gross volations of his rights but it also Involved Jammeh’s personal life which is why Jammeh will do everything possible to either eliminate him or keep him in prison. This is because two girls involved as witnesses all knew about Jammeh’s sexual predatory behaviors. One of the girls was living in statehouse with her mother who was offered an apartment. Jammeh and his inner circle will do anything to Protect his image. Senegalese government is very aware of this because of Jammeh’s frantic efforts to have these two girls and other Gambians who have information on Jammeh’s to return home. The best way to get to Jammeh’s nerve and make him worry is to expose his personal life which has to do with his sexual predatory behaviors. The best way to get rid of him and for Gambians to disown him quickly is to continuously expose his sexual predatory behavior. This is the best weapon our media should use for the benefit of the public . I commend Fatou Camara for doing that to educate Gambians.
Distressfully painful that, despite the flagrant violation of a citizen’s rights that is also putting his life at risk, nothing much seems to be done on the ground, to end his predicament or at least, put pressure on government …
There’s too much expectation on the opposition parties, but they cannot be expected to wage this “war” on their own…Other bodies on the ground also need to join in the struggle to give it the multi-dimensional approach it requires…
Where is the association of journalists..? Where are the Youth Associations. ..? Where are the other civil society or professional associations..?
It’s incredible what is happening in The Gambia..
Thanks editor for updating us on the plight of alagie ceesay. We must keep his fate in the limelight. Journalist Colleagues on the ground must also be seen to be doing something against this blatant impunity. Only words is not enough. For who knows who becomes the next victim!